Baithak is currently conducting Indian Classical Music Concerts at the Ganga Legend construction site in Bavdhan, Pune. The very idea of conducting a Classical Music event at a construction site sounded bizarre to many but not to the labourers and children at the construction site. They were engrossed and throughly enjoyed the event.
The second concert was going to be a Dhrupad recital by Meghana Sardar and as decided the preparations began by spreading a word in the labour camp.
Baithak team, Meghana and other musicians arrived by 4 pm and started setting up the performance space. We had parents and children as audience. Many mothers got their month old kids along with them. We had some visitors curious to understand the initiative. We began the event right on time!
Meghana began with an engaging introduction. She compared music to language and elaborated how languages are different and so is music of different genres. Her compelling tone and relatable examples caught the audience’s attention and hooked them to the event. She later presented Raga Saraswati which included an alas, jod and zala along with two bandishes. Vivek aptly supported the recital. He later demonstrated various taalas in different layas. Children and adults in the audience participated by keeping the beats, clapping, tapping and even singing the bools when asked to do so. Everyone was amused to know that aata (wheat dough) is used to enhance the sound of pakhwaj.
The performers also had a great learning experience. The artists were not sure of which examples, stories will be relatable and thus had to think of multiple references and stories. They also did not know whether children will be able to understand concepts like raga, taal or laya and thus used strong demonstration techniques help them understand the same. Many children and parents also tried singing a bandish which Meghana elaborated line-by-line.
Like last time, we insisted that everyone may feel free to move out of the space if they found the music boring or non-entertaining. In the end we asked everyone how they felt about the entire event and were humbled to receive appreciation. Breastfeeding mothers, toddlers, school-going boys and girls, watchmen of the site, construction supervisor all sat together to experience music without botheration and inhibitions. A senior audience member said that he was looking forward to this monthly event and that is why he was there leaving all work aside.
Post the event the artists, Baithak team, TMCP team and other visitors sat together to share their experience. A visitor said, ‘I was not sure how the artists were going to pull-off a performance in this setting. I thought it would all get over in 5 minutes.’ Another visitor was greatly surprised by the concept – ‘You are doing great work. This is just incredible and impossible to believe’ were his remarks.
We are now looking forward to the next event in September!